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Family and Group Interventions

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Some of the individual, family, and client-oriented group intervention activities that you can engage in with, or on behalf of, your client, include the following:

While we are all regularly influenced by our environments, the Stone family has been particularly affected by the events in their community. First, the family's perception of the lack of adequate response by law enforcement to the arson that killed multiple family members and now, the redevelopment of the neighborhood has created suspicion and lack of trust in public entities. Exacerbated by the current family issues regarding care of Winifred, ownership of the family home, future of the memorial park, and the legal and physical status of the two grandchildren, this is a family experiencing multiple crises. Of critical importance in implementing a social work intervention is the need to consider the way in which the community impacts the family (collectively and individually) and, conversely, the way in which the family impacts the neighborhood and community. As you move through the information and activities related to working with individuals and families, keep in mind the ever-present and fluid connections that exist between the members of the Stone family and the people and organizations that make up the Brickville community. Specifically, consider the influence that the individual/family intervention has on the community and the influence on the family of the intervention-related events occurring in the community.

Building on the assessment and planning phase, outline in detail the intervention steps to be implemented for Virginia Stone and her family.

  • Possibilities for social work intervention may include:
    • help the family to determine if Winifred is eligible for in-home services or if moving into an assisted living or skilled care facility is more appropriate given her level of care needs.
    • assist Virginia in determining the process for gaining title to her family's home
    • link Virginia to psychosocial support and advocacy opportunities
  • Short- and long-term activities for Virginia include:
    • Invite her siblings to participate in a family conference to discuss their mother's health status and care needs.
    • Contact Legal Services to apply for legal assistance in determining her ownership of the house.
    • Assist the social worker in identifying community residents who may be interested in joining a support group for persons experiencing loss and change.

Open your notebook and answer the following questions:

  • Examine the ways in which the Stone family is currently responding to the events in the community.

  • Power is an issue that is often present in individual, family, and community-level situations and interventions Discuss the ways in which the concept of power may be relevant as a challenge among the members of the Stone family and between the Stones and the community.

  • Explore options for aging-focused services for Winifred that are available in your own community/region.

Upon reviewing the following vignettes, provide strategies for conducting a planned change intervention. Open your notebook and outline goals and intervention methods for the three scenarios below.

Building on the assessment and planning phase, outline in detail the intervention steps to be implemented for Virginia Stone and her family.

  • Vignette #1: Family Meeting

An unprecedented family group conference is held with Virginia and her two siblings. Virginia's goal for the family meeting is that both siblings agree to share responsibility for caring for their mother, Winifred. During the meeting, the siblings vent their feelings about the future loss of the family home due to the redevelopment and they grieve the loss of their family members during the fire. During the meeting, the siblings demonstrate conflict over the playground, because Virginia's siblings have emotionally distanced themselves from the fire and feel that the playground is unsafe and should be torn down. Virginia has not healed emotionally, and still feels tied to the playground and its upkeep. She is unhappy that her siblings have not given any money for the upkeep of the playground in a long time. The threat of losing the family home has moved Virginia's siblings to re-involve themselves with the family and neighborhood.

  • Vignette #2: Psychosocial group

After talking to your colleagues and discovering that many clients still talk about the fire, and potential loss of their community, you approach your supervisor for permission to form a psychosocial group about grief, loss, and change for the clients and residents. You invite Virginia to help identify others in the community who might benefit from the group.

  • Vignette #3:

Task group

The original group overseeing the playground was affiliated with Virginia's church, the New Life New Day Pentecostal Church. The playground upkeep has fallen apart over time. Virginia decides to resurrect the remaining members of this group to try and get them to begin overseeing the playground again. Additionally, she has learned about grant opportunities to refurbish the playground, and wants the family to try to find a community nonprofit to help them try for these funds. Virginia's challenge is to persuade the group members to see a clear reason to begin their work again (if the playground is going to be destroyed in the redevelopment), and the lack of money to maintain the neglected playground. The group also struggles with determining their response to the potential redevelopment and the redevelopment plan.

My Intervene Tasks

Consider interventions supported by evidence-based practice and your knowledge of your specific clients.

Create your intervention plans. List the goal(s) you hope to accomplish, in specific, measurable terms, and develop a plan for meeting those goals that includes specific steps to take in the process.

Examine new issues or concerns that arise during the intervention process and monitor any unintended consequences of your intervention(s).